04/25/2022 / By Arsenio Toledo
The Louisiana House of Representatives has just passed a bill that will ban the state and local governments from imposing Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine mandates.
With a vote of 65 in favor to 31 against, mostly along party lines, the state’s lower house approved House Bill 990 (HB 990). One Democrat and one independent state representative joined the 63 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill.
The bill, sponsored by Republican State Rep. Thomas Pressly, prohibits state and local government from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for entering private enterprises and public spaces. It also bans state and local governments from mandating vaccinations to receive services and goods from businesses. (Related: CDC data reveal 84% increase in death of millennials after vaccine mandate.)
To preempt potential lawsuits, HB 990 makes it clear that the ban against mandates does not apply to “any COVID-19 vaccination mandate that is required in accordance with federal law or regulation.”
However, Pressly noted that the bill “allows businesses to make the decision on whether or not to implement their own policies for their business.”
This portion of the bill, known as Section C, is the one that divided Republicans in the House the most. It reads: “Nothing in this part shall be interpreted or construed to prohibit or otherwise impede the rights of a private business or other private entity wishing to implement any policy, procedure or requirement regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.”
Republican State Rep. Beryl Amedeeo offered an amendment to the State House that would have removed Section C, arguing that it distracts from the main purpose of HB 990.
“Removing Section C does not impact the overall intent of the bill. The intent of the bill is to prohibit governmental discrimination based on COVID vaccination status. Section C isn’t needed in order to accomplish this goal,” she said. “Keeping Section C is problematic. Section C green lights, endorses and promotes religious and medical discrimination in the private sector.”
Republican State Rep. Raymond Crews also spoke out in favor of eliminating Section C. “First of all, I don’t think this paragraph is germane to the bill at all,” he said. “Secondly, I agree with the precept, but not the implementation nor the result. It restricts individual liberty, and I don’t think that’s necessary.”
Pressly, in his objection to the amendment, said he wanted to make sure the state government does not interfere with the free market.
“I think it’s important to make it very clear that businesses make the decision on what they want to do for their business,” he said. “Businesses are owned by individuals, and I think it’s important that we keep that language.”
The amendment failed by a vote of 21 in favor and 71 against.
HB 990 now heads to the State Senate for consideration. The Republican Party has a supermajority in Louisiana’s upper house, and the bill is expected to sail through the chamber with little opposition.
The only concern remaining is if Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, vetoes the bill.
For more news about COVID-19 vaccine mandates, visit Pandemic.news.
Watch this clip of passengers cheering as their pilot announces that the mask mandate for air travel is over.
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